Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Aaron Sorkin Settles In Above the Sunset Strip

BUYER: Aaron Sorkin
LOCATION: Devlin Place, Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $6,100,000 (sale)
SIZE: 3,700 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: At the end of a secluded cul-de-sac in prime Sunset Strip. Dramatic, stylish & private. Completely redone sprawling contemporary with explosive head-on views. Designed by John Bersci, 4 bedrooms (including maids), 4 baths. 55' living/great room, opening to spectacular pool, spa, and major outdoor entertainment areas. Light, bright, and open. Gourmet commercial kitchen, incredible master suite overlooking pool and amazing city views. Impeccably done to the last detail.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: There are property flippers and then there is John Bersci, who quite frankly makes anal retentive real estate re-habber Jeff Lewis look like trailer trash. Don't misunderstand Your Mama kids. We love us some Jeff Lewis and look forward to seeing him mince his way across our television screen snapping at his assistant Jenni and firing his staff for bringing Styrofoam into the house. However, Mister John Bersci, the man responsible for the renovation of this house, plays in an entirely different league than the lovable Miss Lewis.

The other day Your Mama as gabbing with a source we'll call Property Pimp. In the course of chatting about a Bird Street house being sold to the daughter of a billionaire for a surprisingly large sum of money (more on that on another day), he casually mentioned the Sunset Strip house that television and film writer/executive producer Aaron Sorkin (Sports Night, The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Charlie Wilson's War) recently purchased for $6,100,000.

Our big ears popped up started digging for more information. Your Mama checked the property records, followed up with the Property Pimp, and gave our Our Fairy Godmother in the Sunset Strip a ring-a-ling. Sho enuf, the deep pocketed writer had indeed plunked down $6,100,000 for a freshly redone house on Devlin Place by primo property developer John Bersci.

Property records indicate that Mister Bersci, through one of his property holding companies, purchased the house in February of 2006 for $2,450,000. The place was wreckage. We've seen pictures. A real piece of shit children. But a great location for those that can tolerate the drive past the apartment buildings that line N. Clark Street. Mister Bersci worked his renovation hocus-pocus, squeezed some blood from a turnip and turned this broken down old Pontiac into a mint Maserati.

Now we know not everyone will like all the grey with yellow accent staging...but that's just staging children. All that somber stuff was surely moved out long before Mister Sorkin signed on the dotted line and Your Mama imagines the man has done hired himself a nice gay decorator to get in there and work some furniture magic. Let's move past the furniture then and have a look-see at the architecture and design of the physical space.

The front facade of the house presents like so many of the flat roofed residences that line the twisty turny roads that snake up into the Hollywood Hills above Sunset Boulevard. Inside, we find lots of sand blasted green glass walls and an almost disturbingly long 55-foot living/dining room space. A wall of floor to ceiling glass panels slide open to turn the entire space into a dee-luxe covered porch with stunning (if not jetliner) views over the city. Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter's housekeeper Svetlana would sooner slit our throats that be constantly wiping all that glass clean of fingerprint smudges and dog nose trails. So we hope that Mister Sorkin warned his cleaning team that extra Windex and newspaper were gong to be required on a regular basis.

Your Mama normally loves a sleek kitchen and we pee our pants over miles of Carrara marble counter tops (red wine stains be damned). We very much appreciate the built in cappuccino machine, because Your Mama requires a caffeine injection first thing in the a.m., and we'd pull our own teeth for a refrigerator like the one we see tucked at the back. However, we're not thrilled with the grey color on the cabinets and we are concerned that the long narrow island looks a little like a slab for chilling bodies in a very high class morgue.

The bedroom, with its corner of sliding glass walls that give out to the pool deck, is dee-voon. The addition of the warm and glossy wood behind the bed was a good call on Bersci's part for warming up the place and injecting a much needed bit of organic material.

Out back the sunken spa sits above the modestly size swimming pool and the pool deck has been extended over the hillside with some gorgeous decking. Although we imagine Svetlana would huff and puff and ask for a considerable raise in order to keep that glass railing dog snot free, we love it anyway. And for the record, Your Mama loves the lack of foliage in the back yard. Just think how much money Mister Sorkin will save on his landscaping bills not to mention the water bills when water in California becomes as scarce as Paris Hilton's sense of decorum.

The children will recall that Devlin Drive is the same street super-mannequin Giselle Bundchen recently sold a house for $4M and former child star Fred Savage recently flipped a Steve Hermann designed house (sans swimming pool) for $3,500,000. It's also the same street where durty new mommy Xtina Aguilera parked her glistening white Rolls Royce until she and music executive huzband Jordan Bratman dropped $11,500,000 in May of 2007 on the Ozzy Osbourne mansion on Doheny Road.

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

This house has been hovering around on the market for quite a few months. I initially liked it but then after I had looked at the online tour a couple more times I decided I didn't ... It has a couple good points but it also has a fakeness about it that I don't appreciate .. It also looks quite odd from the street [think it's the windows] & the stupid glass room beside the front door? what is the point of this? Lastly, I'm not a huge fan of the street ... the short drive from Sunset to this house is pretty dismal.

so_chic_darling said...

Well I wouldn't mind living there,who cares what you have to drive by to get to it.

lil" gay boy said...

Don't know the area too well but unless there's a damn freeway in the backyard I don't care - I love the lines of this house.

Yes, we all know it's staged (but not a chenille throw in the place!) but it wouldn't have hurt to go a tad less pastel in the color palette; the lines are so bold they would still have shown through. And there's plenty of wall space for some outstanding art to adorn with. The lampshade in the den/study/whatever is crooked, but, you know what? I can live with it . . .

Love the wood accents; the bedroom wall, the deck and the privacy wall at the end of the terrace, as well as the interior flooring. The glass parapet to the terrace is a lovely touch as well.

You could always resurface the kitchen cabinets, perhaps with a tiger maple veneer. And as for the morgue table-like kitchen island, as far as I'm concerned they could exhume both Collier brothers, lay them toe-tag to toe-tag on it and I'd still be content to have my midnight snack there . . .

Anonymous said...

It looks ok to me but I wouldn't pay $6 million+ for it. The ceilings look a little low for the sprawling size of the rooms.

Anonymous said...

The best location on Devlin is at the end of Devlin Drive (vs. Place). It was an unrestored Cliff May on an acre that was for sale for 6 million last year. It was apparent from the contents that the seller was an older industry person. Supposedly the Sassoons were considering buying it to restore.

Still hoping Mama digs up the dirt on that one.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have the Simon Fuller place on Tanager.

The cleaner said...

A PARAPET is a low wall, typically at the edge of a flat surface, like a roof. There are no parapets in these images.

The glass overhang at pool deck is CANTILEVERED. A beam extends out at one end to carry the load at the other unsupported end.

luke220 said...

$6.1 million is a lot of money for this house. There is almost no view and neighboring houses are unimproved, and very close by. I walked the house while the reno was being done Christmas week of 2006. I hope that the bounty was shared with the Latino workers who were doing the work late into the evening Christmas day.

Devlin Dr and Tanager- much better properties. So_chic, you would object to what you have to drive by.

On the other coast, the Olsens owned the coop where Heath Ledger met his untimely death?

Flora said...

I want to like this house, but I find I can't. The bad furniture does not help, but even when I shut that out I can't warm to the spaces. Its something I can't quite figure out - too clinical perhaps? I should love the wood flooring and the way its used inside and out, and yet it does not make my heart beat faster.
The kitchen, on the other hand, is plain awful and I DO know why. I hate the central island because it is too long and too narrow, and I would be cursing it if I had to cook anything there. Its a giant obstacle between the sink and the cooker. Imagine having to run around that with a hot pan in your hand!

pch said...

It's like everything about this house is close, but not quite.

I'm a big fan of the rectilinear interior spaces, generally, but some ceiling height, as someone mentioned, would seem appropriate for this design and price point. (Maybe neighborhood rules nixed that idea?) Also, for a house that is theoretically streamlined, there seems to be a lot going on, everywhere, busy little walls, little corners, little angles, little skylights. Even the organization of the terrace/pool area seems overly complicated with all those level and material variations. The view over the living toward the pool should come with a Xanax.

I'm with LGB, though, on the veneers in the bedroom. Wow.

The last time I saw this house it had a rinky-dink carport out front. I'm not opposed to carports, in fact I like them in the right context, but jammed against the road in the tight sweep of a seedy-looking cul-de-sac isn't the right context.

lucy said...

Eh.

Hate the low ceilings. Love the wall of glass.

Anonymous said...

Luke, Old (and incorrect) news about an Olsens connection to Heath Ledger. A body guard for one of the Olsens is an EMT and friends with the housekeeper. She called him for help when she and the masseuse found the body.

lil" gay boy said...

PCH, you're right that they could have varied the ceiling height a little more from room to room to delineate the spaces further; perhaps there is a height restriction in the neighborhood?

Cleaner, I am well aware of the difference between a parapet and a cantilever; according to the dictionary, a parapet is: "any low protective wall or barrier at the edge of a balcony, roof, bridge, or the like . . . , such as the glass wall supporting the railing around the balcony, (see the last picture on the bottom right).

And as an incurable Wrightophile, I certainly know what a cantilever is: "any rigid construction extending horizontally well beyond its vertical support"; as Wright practically invented it in residential use.

I see a solid roof cantilevered over the pool deck, not a glass one; am I missing something?

Hippie Canyon said...

I thought we were bringing sexy back? Hmph. Guess not. This house has all the sexy-ness and warmth of a celebrity dental office. Absolutely no interesting features. I confess, I do not understand the attraction of "mid century" influenced design. Modern design? Sure. Love it. Classic architecture? Love that as well. IMO this type of architecture has the sort of design narrative that a friend of mine (who did set designs) said would be used to reflect a person incapable of making a commitment. Relying on shapes that merely suggest rather than reveal a personality.

luke220 said...

Thank you, anon 12:26. Big Time Listings gives additional info today on the Broome St. property, not owned by the Olsens.

Alessandra said...

Love the view. Love the sleek lines. Love the exterior shots pool-side. Love the marble counters in the kitchen.

Like the master bedroom and bath.

Hate the low ceilings and that island in the kitchen (which would only be good for sliding vodka shots in races). Agree that cooking in that kitchen would be abysmally difficult.

Perhaps Mr. Sorkin doesn't cook and doesn't need to use his kitchen...

lil" gay boy said...

Flora, you are so right about the length of the kitchen island; it would make a good setting for a game of musical chairs though, wouldn't it?

Hippie, I confess that I couldn't pinpoint the era this architecture would fall into; neo-mid-late-up-to-date-century?

Luke, been by the building Heath Ledger lived in many times on the way to work (just 8 blocks away); never knew he lived there though.

Sad to see all the lurid speculation happening around this tragic event (such as he was found in a peaceful, sleeping position in bed, not sprawled naked on the floor amidst a mountain of pills); sure, there was a prescription found in the room, but it's just disheartening how people are so quick to believe the worst about people.

He was only 28, children; let's let him rest in peace, and wish his daughter and her mother all the privacy they deserve at this time.

bentley said...

Except for the kitchen, it is a beautiful house.

I actually like to cook in a kitchen,. This Jetsons-esque study in grey inspires me to shake up some Tanq 10, plop in an olive and do some blow.

Looove the master bedroom.

the cleaner said...

There is no way this glass can ever be correctly termed a parapet. Ever. Your point is moot. Let it go already.
Yesterday was your inglenook mess and (my fave….to date) no street numbers on Martha's Vineyard. Nice hat trick.

Anonymous said...

the first two pics look computer generated-void of life.

lil" gay boy said...

Cleaner, do you have a life?

Girl at the bar said...

Cleaner can you make mine a double?

Questions ALL said...

What happened to his 11365 Canton Drive in Studio City? A celebrity must have bought it, no? Please advise.

Anonymous said...

LGB, keep posting and don't let the trolls get you down. Me thinks "cleaner" is just the latest name for our resident loser.

Anonymous said...

PS. There is a difference between a parapet *roof* and a *wall* parapet.

sandpiper said...

I agree on the fussy distractions (hammer-friendly obstacles).
What's up with that kitchen? If those can lights are 32" on center, island could be up to 15' long; no thanks. But I am loving the pot filling faucet over the range! I want one.

lil' gay boy said...

Thanks, anon 3:15!

Let's break this down, shall we?

Cleaner, forgive the brevity of my earlier post; I had a train to catch (yes, believe it or not, some of Mama's children work for a living.) I did bother to do my research; did you? Every definition of parapet I found was somewhere along the lines I stated above: "any low protective wall or barrier at the edge of a balcony, roof, bridge, or the like . . . - oddly enough, nowhere did it say unless it's made of Brillo pads, Spam, or glass; then you MUST refer to it as "that thingie on the edge." Your response: "There is no way this glass can ever be correctly termed a parapet. Ever. Your point is moot."

My, my; you logic is totally unassailable; I bow to your superior, well-constructed argument. (By the way, you still haven't told us just where the cantilevered glass is).

As for the inglenook, yes I misspoke; but if you'll also remember, I did bother to check and corrected myself on that score.

Now, I never claimed that every single goddamn structure on Martha's Vineyard did not have a number, but here's the odd thing - if you address a letter to, for example:

The Orchards
Meadow Lane
Martha's Vineyard, MA

Guess what? It will get delivered. I'll notify the post office right away that they are in error.

Finally, as for the use of the phrase "hat trick" let's see what the dictionary says: the knocking off by one bowler of three wickets with three successive pitches: so called because formerly such a bowler was rewarded with a hat. Now we all know this is not Merry Old England and that the term has a different connotation here on this side of the pond, but since you're such a stickler for details I just thought you'd like to know what is derivation was.

Now let's all play nice and stick to the spirit of fun that Mama tries so hard to foster here; no wonder she has to take a nerve pill every now and then!

lil' gay boy said...

I think we can safely say that with that enormous, narrow kitchen island, the best use we could put it to is for Bentley to lay out one very, very, very long line of blow on it, with a Tanqueray at each end . . .

;-)

123456789 said...

I think cleaners point, all due respect to you both, is that you often seem be trying to outdo mama...you've co-opted the language and you go on and on trying to make witty and pithy commentary about every detail of a house and I for one would appreciate more brevity in your comments. this is not your forum for your ideas...if you want that, you should start your own blog. i don't mean that with disrespect, i really don't. I'm not taking issue with whether your comments are good or bad or accurate or not. i'm saying that you have a lot to say. a lot. if you have the time to write all these comments every single day, surely you have the time for your own blog about long island estates and and all the other many things you seem to know quite a bit about. i'm out.

bentley said...

Haha - nice...wahoo.

Perhaps I should mix up a jug??

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm a cheap bastard, but I could never bring myself to buy a house for $6.1M that was worth $2.45 a couple of years ago. Yes, I know he renovated it, but at that price you're paying $986 per square foot for the "improvement". In my view there is nothing that could be done to have improved the property that much. He could have razed the entire structure and started from scratch and still done it for half that price. How do you justify paying 6.1 for that?

$2 cocktail said...

LGB, Re your last comment: Now you're talkin! I want to be invited to THAT party!!!

;-)

lil' gay boy said...

123456789:

Nobody could outdo Mama, I wouldn't even begin to try.

I studied both architecture and writing and have a passion for both; but through a cruel twist of fate (the need for food, clothing and shelter), I've found myself in the Information Technology industry, in front of a computer 8+ hours a day. That's why I take a break from the insanity to blog here when I can.

But I have a very thick skin; if you want to tell me to shut up, please do - I won't take offense. Promise.

fairfield girl said...

My my, I seem to have cause a debate about the addresses on M V sorry about that......
As for this house I'm in love with the counter tops and the view. That's all I like. It's not livable for your average slob like me.

Alessandra said...

LGB...I like the Tanqueray idea greatly. Then again, I've found that life is too short to drink bad gin.

As a relative newbie to this delicious and utterly wonderful blog, I'm just happy to be amongst my peeps, you know? To be able to comment about design and architecture and real estate and celebrities and culture? Absolutely divine and I think our Mama for her superb efforts.

bentley said...

Alessandra - I did say Tanqueray 10, if that makes a difference...

I, too, thank Mama. This is a wonderful escape.

I, too, have a very thick skin.

Alessandra said...

Bentley...T10 is also highly acceptable. Start pouring.

Viva! said...

I'm not a fan of the modern look...but I adore how it sort of has a Riviera style view.

pch said...

Alessandra, your sexy Italian name and interesting observations are a very welcome addition.

Hope it doesn't bug anyone if I do tequila shots...I really know how to class the joint up...

sandpiper said...

Little Buddy,

Don't give that guy so much buy in!

lil' gay boy said...

Thanks once again, Sandpiper, for the reality check.

It was just one of those days and he proved to be a convenient target . . .

Now somebody start pouring that Tanq 10!

Mama's lil helper said...

Mama... I love you dearly, but the Sorkin house is in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles... NOT Beverly Hills.

Keep up the good work! You always make my day complete.

Sunny in SJ said...

123etc..., aka cleaner, aka anon,Go away if you don't like the comments LGB and I'm guessing you meant Bentley have. What are you the blog police? They are informative and amusing and you are splitting hairs on the use of terms. Now that's boring!!!

I don't like this house. It looks like it's trying too hard to be sleek and modern. I think it is very cold. Why would you have a pig trough for a bathroom sink? No one needs a sink that big. I do like the pool though.

luke220 said...

I don't think Mama said this house is in Beverly Hills. Actually, I think it is in West Hollywood.

luke220 said...

Sunny, these pics were taken with a very wide angle lens. I makes everything look larger and somewhat distorted. The pool is very small.

pch said...

Hey Luke, the zip is 90069, but I'm pretty sure it's city of Los Angeles. West Hollywood ends with the apartment house ghetto no one wants to drive by to get here.

Polly said...

CLUCK,CLUCK,CLUCK

sandpiper said...

PCH, I love your judgements. You are at the core of so cal observatons. Just wanted to say that. You'll forget more than we'll ever know about these properties--pro and con. You know the lay of the land. I mean that sincerely.

lil' gay boy said...

Sandpiper, ditto from me.

lucy said...

LGB, you made me laugh. Out loud.

However, I don't (GASP) like gin. Tequila for PCH and me, thanks! ;-)

I like all the visitors (the nice ones) to this blog- I love being able to look at pretty (and not so pretty) houses and learn their history and read the commentary (and an excellent one it is, at that) of Mama and the rest of you.

I'd make some comment about the snarky visitor needing a Xanax, but I think that might be a bit uncomfortable right now.

pch said...

An incredibly nice thing to say, Sandpiper. Thank you. (And LGB, too!) A pleasure, also, to hear what y'all have to say.

My family teases me because my photo albums are filled with snapshots of houses, not people. I think I inherited the mania from my Dad...we moved at least once a year, usually because he found a house he liked even better. Sometimes he owned two or three at a clip because he couldn't make up his mind. (And he's not even a celebrity -- go figure.) Anyway, I grew up tromping through houses -- with the critical eye of a buyer -- in most of these neighborhoods. They're all home, and I love them equally.

Oh, I looked it up -- the house at 825 Loma Vista was built in 1933. Were you asking about that in the other discussion?

Cheers, Lucy! I knew I liked you.

pch said...

Oh, and Mama, Zillow says the Loma Vista house sold for $8.3 million the last time around. Dunno if it's accurate...that website is as deep as my research skills go...

lil' gay boy said...

Sandpiper, PCH, Lucy, Caveman, Aunt Mary, Staging Lady, Old Hag, Luke, Sunny, Alessandra, Bentley, et al (I know I've left a few of you out, including various anons):

This may be Mama's site, and Lord knows no one can turn a phrase like she does, but you all contribute your own gems as well - they're what keep me coming back for more; Mama's astute and acerbic comments and your replies.

Keep 'em coming! I love them (and you) all.

lil' gay boy said...

How could I have forgotten So_Chic?

Oh, the shame!

;-)

LAPD Tipster said...

LGB,

Get over here, drop your drawers and bend over my knee.

lil' gay boy said...

Yes, sir!

Sick and Tired said...

Sorry folks, but I'm with 123...and I know this will fall on deaf and defensive ears. But...

I'm sure this little cabal of regular commenters are going to say all sorts of mean things, but frankly I don't care. I won't be reading this string anymore to see your frothy retorts.

For the record, I am a regular reader who wouldn't mind if LGB kept his comments a little shorter, a little less frequent, and a little less like a wannabe mini Mama. I've simply had enough of wading through LGB's long and too-frequent comments.

You say you're not trying to compete with Mama, but dude, you are. Take a lesson from some of the other sharp commenters like that caveman and so chic person who keeps things spot on and short. Now, have at me comments cabal...tell me to go away and shut up, rip me a new asshole and tell me to get a life. But think about it first. I'm not the one sitting around waiting with baited breath for someone to comment so I can comment back. I'm not the one who has commented on this ONE blog post no less than 12 times and will certainly post several more before he's exhausted his seemingly never ending stream of knowingness.

You got that much to say, start your own blog. You say you don't have time? You certainly have the time to monitor and obsessively comment on multiple blog strings at one time. You've got time to craft long and obviously considered commentary. so you got time buddy.

How do you think Mama feels about this insular cabal driving regular readers away who can't tolerate the long windedness? You think she thinks that's cute and clever? I can guarantee not.

Anonymous said...

Sick & Tired (or whatever alias you want to use next) -

Give it up already. You just made a long ass post complaining about others making too long posts?? What makes you special?

And even worse...you "guarantee" what Mama's opinion of other posters is??

What a dumb ass.

Anonymous said...

And I just noticed the usual knee jerk reaction that the regulars of the board will surely recognize from the past tirades of the poster before he changes nicknames -

"I won't be reading this string anymore to see your frothy retorts."

Doesn't that sound familar?

Frothy Von Retort said...

Mama is laughing at all the nonsense right now children.

Anonymous said...

These pics look like renderings. Cold renderings. Don't care for this place.

Virginia Girl said...

I detest everything about this cold, soulless place.

the cleaner said...

1234 and sick-and-tired:

Good to know I'm not the only one resenting this shallow wanna-be Mama, the resident delusional blog editor LIL GAY BORING. You've both said it well.

Tragic to think s/he's spinning that we're one person-LOL.

Anonymous said...

No..I'm saying you are one person. And I'm not lil gay boy.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out. Stay gone this time.

lil' gay boy said...

Thanks, anon 7:51!

I'll take Sandpiper's advice, take a breath, and laugh along with Frothy von Retort.

Anonymous said...

Next door girl? Miz Pe Cruz, that's a exclusive just for u mamma

Anonymous said...

Hopefully he didn't pay $6.1 million for privacy because with Penelope Cruz living next door in a psuedo moorish courtyard house, the paparazzi sleep in their cars across the street waiting for her to leave the house and then chase her to the Ivy. When she comes home from partying with Bono or Salma Hayek they chase her up the street from Sunset and almost kill people walking their dogs or trying to pull out of their driveway.
As for the house, I saw it when it was for sale and it should have been demolished because it was in such poor condition for what looked an animals living in the house, not people. The walls, the ceiling, the pool deck all looked like they were about to collapse from years of neglect but I guess if you throw marble, sandblasted glass and wenge wood at anything above Sunset you can find some sucker to pay $6.1 million.